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Osborne relaxes visa controls for Chinese nationals

Harry Ashcroft provides an insight into the new visa controls for Chinese nationals proposed by George Osborne

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This week George Osborne declared that China's exponential economic growth is not something to be concerned about, but something to celebrate. Currently, the UK is the eighth largest recipient of Chinese investment in overseas nations, no mean feat considering the UK is the world's sixth largest economy. Nevertheless, when we consider the fact that Chinese investors put more money in Nigeria and Iran, it begs the question, are we seriously missing out ?

Downton Abbey is watched by 160 million Chinese people; nearly three times the population of Britain, and the middle class are increasingly turning to high quality goods, exactly what the UK does best. Scotch Whiskey is phenomenally popular in China, likewise with Rolls Royce, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover cars. We trade massively within China, as a brand Britain is certainly appealing to the Chinese, but this doesn't seem to directly reciprocate in terms of Chinese investment in Britain. This begs the question, what can we do about it?

Despite what the Daily Mail may say, Britain is actually quite a difficult country to get into. Chinese nationals can apply for a single visa to visit Europe, but as Britain isn't part of the Schengen agreement, a visa to visit the United Kingdom is then also needed - resulting in more paperwork, more time and more fuss. For a Chinese businessman to embark on a scouting trip to Europe for enterprise reasons, one form will give him access to Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, all the strong performing economies bar Britain.

The current situation has unsurprisingly resulted in a lack of Chinese investment - not only is the process longer and more complicated, but it hardly sends a message out saying Britain wants to do business with China. This is a ridiculous situation, as China currently possesses a GDP of between 5-7 trillion, with the overwhelming majority of that wealth held by the Chinese business and upper classes.


In no other country is such vast wealth held by so few people with a love of all things British. Chinese wealth is not tied down in the middle classes like in the UK or the US, who wouldn't have the means to open an overseas business. The makeup of Chinese income means that that wealth can easily be moved around the world, with $600 billion leaving China annually, yet only $18 billion of that comes here. George Osborne's plans to make fast-track visas available for Chinese businessmen may seem gimmicky, but I believe that not only is this an incredibly sensible measure, but one which will massively improve how business is done between us and the booming East. We need to stop thinking of China as a mere global factory, it is now a world leader in renewable energies and greater trade links can only benefit us in Britain.

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9 Comment

Kathleen Cull-Fitzpatrick Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

If you feed me waffles i'll marry you, i mean like waffle marry you! I really love waffles!

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Mark Roodhouse Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Feed me beef, then a dessert platter of waffles.

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Tony Ward Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Alcuin Bistro better sell waffles because I am really bored of not having any waffles!

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Rob Brett Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Kill the one who hath no desire for waffles. Drown them in maple syrup foorsooth!

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Joe Wareing Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Yes, let no mercy be seen. For those who hate waffles hate life itself.

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Ed Milliband Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

I don't particularly like waffles, pancakes i can deal with!

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Anon Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Someone is obviously commenting on their own article here to get it up the ratings. As all the people are known personally to the author, bar poor Ed who has been dragged unnecessarily into this. As if he doesn't have enough to worry about facing big Dave and little Nickie.

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Anon2 Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

Harry using other peoples names to comment on your own Article is really quite sad. Do you not have anything better to do? If not what are you doing with your life?

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Anon Posted on Monday 22 Jul 2019

That shut you up Harry. #wackamole

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